What if the old man tells him to jump off a cliff

How to read the gospel with children, which for us should mean a post, and how to correctly understand and can apply to life Paterik – funny stories about monks or spiritual guidance, talks brethren of the Holy Transfiguration skete, hieromonk Panteleimon (Queens).

Hieromonk Panteleimon (Queens). Photo: Anna Danilova

  • Maya Kucherskaya, “Every good book changes the world”
  • The publisher Orfograf the first volume of the “New Athos Paterikon”
  • Notes on Russian hagiology
  • “Proximity effect” in the history and everyday life

Is it possible to share confidential

In our lives of the fathers there is a story about a hermit who lived on a remote cell, was a priest. One day he came to the mysterious devotees, of which there is a steady tradition that is seven or twelve special ascetics, they are impossible to find, even if you’re looking at, but someone they sometimes open. These ascetics then came to him and received communion at the Liturgy. They made him promise that he does about them will not tell.

Once he came to a big feast, and there the fathers began to say that gone are those blessed times when you really were such great devotees that now they are not. The elder said that “all they are, I saw them”. Even this mention was great too, and these ascetics came to him and said, “You see us one last time, because you broke your promise.” And the old man from trouble that will not see these blessed men, became ill and soon died.

There is a similar story: another old man hid in his cell of a young monk who was about to leave mount Athos, having been disappointed in the spiritual life. Seeing through the crack of these blessed men, he cheered and was ready for further exploits, but the old man lost this gift from God, it did not come to these men.

To share such a big risk: it seems that you have something to lose, and do so. On the other hand, and as people not to share the experience of your life? If you look at American involvement in the charity, the faith, any activity is always a large number of very personal stories. There’s a whole culture of personal experience.

— I think that it is very difficult to understand Americans who are at once friendly to you, ready much to tell. In our culture there is a certain barrier to entry: you, the first step meet a grim look, and then, if you’re willing to endure this look, you make your way through it and find yourself in a tender embrace to the grave.

Don’t know how deep the Americans. There is a danger that if you tell the same history for the first time, slipping on some rails: on the one hand, you have the story opened, and on the other — you from your heart, nothing special took.

The process of taking out the innermost of the heart supersalesmen. The listener sees your openness and vulnerability, you appear in front of him as you are, are you ready to sneer, to any abrupt step in your direction. This openness is really important. And when you are on certain rails, the quoting is a little bit different story.

The jokes, the laughing Skies

The Paterik is the experience records the lives and words quite modern saints?

— Yes, it’s the end of the XIX, XX and XXI century even a little, our older contemporaries. One Athonite monk was collecting these stories for thirty years, recording bit by bit. Athos experienced different periods, for some time there was a decline of monasticism, and then it was revived.

The main purpose of gathering and storage of delicate diamonds, emeralds and pearls these stories was to show that the Tradition is alive that Holiness is with us. What is the Holy Spirit Who descended at Pentecost and acted in the apostles, acts and at the present time, that the gospel is always new, that there is an amazing man, who with all sincerity of heart and living the gospel — but to see to see, you need to properly configure their spiritual receptors.

— It turns out a very great distance between the modern Paterik Paterik and the first centuries of Christianity. In this period of time because little was going?

— Apparently, here it is in the cultural traditions of different eras. If you take the ancient Egyptian Paterik, you can try to imagine the General atmosphere: the monks live far away from each other, they have few books, they pray a lot and say little, and the silence is born short and capacious word. In some lists Paterik meet a long “pedigree” of a short story: “How Paphnutius heard from Abba Piora, who himself took these things from the mouth of Abba AG…” It is a living tradition, confirmed by personal experience of each of the fathers, through which this history has passed.

In a later era there was a Paterik, markedly different in style from ancient Egypt, they had already contained not a short story or aphoristic expression, and a full biography: this is the Kiev-Pechersk Patericon of the XIII century, the Volokolamsk Paterikon of the XVI century and so on. It also adjoins the “lives of the saints” St. Demetrius of Rostov, where, based only on a brief testimony of the ancient Martyr acts of St. Demetrius in the Baroque style, is a detailed dialogue of the torturer and Martyr, with copious citations of Scripture, with a serious dogmatic load.

Although these words during the actual martyrdom, surely is not pronounced, these literary Baroque curls in that era seemed a natural framing of historical fact. For the modern reader, who often do not want to read long text, Paterikon may be an actual form of ascetic perception of reality. And “New Athos Paterikon” is good because it is a significant part of that is the shortest stories and quotes in the spirit of the ancient Egyptian fathers.

Don’t know if this is correct, but to some extent, the Paterik by genre can be compared with the collections of anecdotes.

Can the word “joke” to take the sense of the nineteenth century — a short and memorable story about important people, which is easy to remember and retell. But it is possible with modern anecdotes to match, raising the ground level and dirt up to the sky and clouds. After all, hearing vaguely a love romance, the soul of him to jerk to the biblical song of Songs. The purpose patentowych stories (and jokes) to lighten the mood, but the feelings of sadness don’t go to stupid fun, and joyful desire to act and to live the gospel, not so much to show off your erudition how to cheer up a little spiritual strength of the brothers, like all the ladies, and be better from the point of view of the Sky — God, the angels and saints.

The companions, referred to in the “New Athos Paterikon”, not canonized?

— Elder Joseph the Hesychast has canonized as locally venerated. Preparing the canonization of the Russian elder Tikhon (Golenkov), who was the spiritual mentor Reverend paisija Athos, and it was wound on the canonization of father Ephraim Katunskogo and father Sophronios (Sakharov).

Ephraim Catenacci, the elder Tikhon, Archimandrite Sophronios

Not just to read but to apply to the case

My own experience of appeals to the Paterik happened at the very beginning of my churching. You’re reading Abba Dorotheos, he mentions certain names. No footnotes, but the question is, about whom he tells. Read Climacus, also reference. And then, when you find the collection, saying: here is what I was looking for.

Researchers say that interest in the Paterik is closely associated with the revival of spiritual life. When there is a decline of spiritual life, the Paterik of forget and remember, when you want to get in a single sentence the assignment for the day, that was something to ponder. This solid food, which is all anyone can how to chew. The task of the Patericon is not to read a lot.

Elder paisios, when he talked about the purpose of spiritual reading, were advised not to read a lot and keep on my Desk a book with a strong spiritual reading, which moves you to prayer. If you have came any rozlisenie, take, read a page or two to warm up myself to prayer. Paterik should not be read simply as a fascinating book, without application to the case.

— And how they might apply to the case of the average Christian, not a monk?

In the Paterik many stories in which there is nothing specifically monastic. There is a story about how one monk went to the bakery to knead the dough and bake the bread. Had already gathered the furnace, and there came also another, and said, “Oh, brother! You’re good at baking bread. I’ve also come help me, please.” The monk who came first, helped, they baked bread, he left happy. He’s going to continue to bake bread for yourself, comes another brother, he repeated exactly the same story. In the end, he made bread for seven who one after another came, and then to himself, and quietly returned to his cell.

If we want to deploy, and send away the person who came to us with some request, we can recall this history to overcome itself in the beginning. If we have run out of patience after we helped one and came second, we can remember this story to help the second. This question is about patience. It is not particularly related to our physical condition is irrelevant to our monasticism or the priesthood. This is a kind of spiritual readiness to undergo any suffering for the sake of another. The extent to which we open ourselves, willing to sacrifice for the sake of another, willing to accept the pain of others? And often people with fragile health is much more responsive, who pumped their muscles because of fear of pain.

Is in the Paterik of history about how to find a balance between prayer and work. For example, we took a prayer book, stood in the red corner, read to the middle of the third prayer, and suddenly we are torn. What should we do? You may recall from the Paterikon story of the elder who had a great rule of prayer, who loved to pray, but when guests came he unabashedly set aside my rule. “Always with me, — he said — and you came to me in guests arrived just today, so I’ll take you, I’ll buy, spend — and return to his rule.”

Elder paisios, who had a rather big rule of prayer, it was with am, including Vespers, and only then opened the door of his cell to the visitors. As opened, so be kind, take it all to the last. And everyone — with much love.

In the Patericon we can find many similar stories: people were tired, they were exhausted, but there’s a new man — and the host was raised, he took them with joy, gave him all the love, gave the last, accompanied, not mourned. Of patericons you can see how in sync with each other, and the unanimous elders of different ages. And with these stories is absolutely in tune with Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, who said that the most important for you person is the one who now stands before you.

If the garden prevents vicose it

— I very often find themselves in a situation when I someone comes up with some super important business, and my child has to wait, and it already there are no forces. A question of priorities somehow solved?

— In our book the story of one arandarenko, father Mitrophan, who came out to meet all the guests and really cared about his inner life, about how to not leave the prayer. When he was asked some questions: “father, where are you from? Where were you born?” — he said, “And that the Abbot knows.” Or started to say the Jesus prayer. These stories show how the elders, not wanting to seem silly or strange in the eyes of others, keep their priorities clearly enough.

This monastery is sometimes came cards with congratulations: “we Congratulate you on your arhontariki!” — that is: “you Have such an amazing person engaged in the reception of pilgrims, that we are very happy for him. We tried it on some mundane topics to distract, but he is providing the hospitality, remained faithful to his monastic life”.

There is another story about an old man who lived in a cenobitic monastery, and then went to live in separate kalivo and there engaged in farming. It is horticulture and gardening he has gone so well that the trees bloomed and fruited, vegetable spread, and in some moment the old man realized that instead of living as a hermit and a man of prayer, he became a gardener. Went and destroyed your garden. So you can mow half your garden if you know that you have slides priorities.

If the elder will tell you to jump off a cliff

On mount Athos there are the elders. Not necessarily a Confessor must be a seer who sees the intimacy of your heart, but the spiritual life you try to live, is under control. The confidence of novice elder is a fundamental principle of life on the Holy Mountain. “Obedience is life, disobedience is death”, one of the key phrases. In the life of Ephraim Katunskogo was the case, the details of which he never told, but which is lamented very much. When it is something prisosalsya his elder, and for a long time lost in prayer.

There is no contradiction, because you’re not a robot, you continue to make the choice to act against their will or on their own. You have the head continues to work.

— So you know what specifically to do in this situation do not very well, not very logical and not very rational.

In our Paterikon everything is back to normal: the elder, too, has a head on their shoulders and will not require anything harmful. But trust yourself more than the elder, veiled and selfishness, and Nemonychidae the wise.

We have in the Paterikon is the dialogue: “If my old man would say to jump into the water off a cliff, what do I do?” “Well, you asked. If you say “throw” — throw”.

On mount Athos special value of obedience is that it is a tradition. The elder, who advises his young pupil, he passed through a school of obedience than a year, he understands it from the inside. If a person, in this school the past year trying to use the obedience simply as a stick with which someone somewhere is driving, this is not the very essence of obedience. Elder paisios said that this Romashina and planted by the power of order is the biggest mess for the monastery.

Obedience is done out of love. The young monk entrusts himself to the old man, he wants to understand where the old man leads him, consults with him and that the elder said to him, sincerely trying to accomplish. The Paterik of course there are examples of watering a dry stick, with some actions that are contrary to the internal desire of the novice, but mostly it is very soft pedagogy. To break someone over my knee — it’s still not the classic way of healing. Sometimes this is justified, but the old man must be experienced, and novice — ready.

I recently read about skhimitropolit Zenobia (Magugu). When he was still a simple monk, he was summoned by the Abbot of the monastery. The monk Zinovii briefly shorn, shaved and dressed in secular dress. He of course, was perplexed and grieved, but didn’t show any resistance or disturbance, after which the Abbot his love a hug and said, “Indeed, now I understand that you are the only person who can handle the responsibility of a job.” Had to help to drive somewhere Bishop. In Soviet times it was a very dangerous task, it was necessary to use clandestine methods.

Relationship with the elder — in many ways, school for us relationship with God. If we are willing to perform only those tasks that we understand and accept ourselves for ourselves, then there is no obedience and no. We are not ready to listen to the other, make it more rich experience, can’t consider what he sees rather.

Accordingly, if I have the relationships with senior, you can get such a dialogue with God: I will groan the words of the Psalm: “Tell me, o Lord, the way, wonje will go,” the Lord answers, “You over there”. But to this I will object: “No, I’m not there, I know I’m in a completely different way.” In this dialogue the next time I do not have much meaning to ask, and God is not much reason to answer you. What response can we expect, except this: “You know the paths that you want to go, here they go.” If we want to hear from God a word, where we go, we can practice listening to the elders.

There is a story about how one monk says, “everyone loves Me”. In response to his rebuke: “Boldly say so. What are you all like?” “I have all obedience”.

Obedience, like love, flourishes when reciprocity. Comes in the middle of the night, the novice, said, “Geronda, posovetui me”, expecting and words of edification and consolation. In this situation, someone who gives the task, someone who is having obedience? The elder, engaged in the spiritual guidance of a fatherly or even motherly, in a thousand trifles render obedience Junior — that does not cause any spiritual harm.

What is common between the monastery and science fiction

In the world some clashes, grudges can last a long time. In the monastery, as on a submarine, you know your collision needs to be resolved before the evening, but preferably right away, because if there is a conflict between the two brothers, it means that the whole monastery will be fever, will be bad for everyone. Monastic examples just show human relationships more clearly.

Science fiction love not so much for the description of other planets and some aircraft, but for the fact that there is constructed a situation in which human feelings and relationships spelled out more clearly. The interesting man he is and the other person. In science fiction one surroundings, the monastery is a little different, but the principles of human action, psychological collisions, the methods of the passage of certain typical situations quite clearly spells out.

In the Paterik there are many stories of patience, which are easily passed on to secular realities. For example, on mount Athos there is a tradition of January 1, assign each basic obedience for a year. Going spiritual Council, each in turn was called and told that this year you will do so-and-so. Elder Constance had appointed a certain obedience. It takes a little time, it again cause: no, you’re not going to do, you’re going to do another. A little more time passes, again collect the Cathedral, it is called… So it for a year replaced seven different obediences.

The elder then asked: “Father, Constantius, how did you manage to stay in such a peaceful state of mind when you like a ball tossed from one obedience to another?” And he says: “I thought about it and told the devil: “You want to bring me to white heat? No, I you he to it will bring!”” These simple tricks can be completely applied in amonastery life.

— And there are those that are not useful to even try?

Nothing useful would not be without clear leadership. There are sad stories about monks who had a special post and a special rule of prayer, and then broke down due to demonic attacks.

— That is, it is believed that if a person starts any spiritual exercise without consulting with your priest, it could be bad?

— Well, I would just like the same universal quantifier is not raised, because many situations can be different. There are stories about missionaries in the far North, which have met with local residents, and they began to speak to them about the shaman of their lives. It turned out that it is not the shaman, and the Christian ascetic. He is nowhere to get some spiritual guidance, and his angels were instructed in the Christian truths. There are many situations when it is necessary to act here and now, right here this very second, you have no chance to ask her Confessor how to proceed.

— Talking about that I’ll try, but the priest will not say, he will.

— This is the most dangerous. If you have something you’re hiding from the cleric, introduced the element of lies and deceit, if these “fertilizers” is unlikely to grow something valuable and useful. In fact, this is stated in the words of the Sacrament of confession: “but what decrease purely the sin of imachi”.

How not to lose the spiritual sweetness

Elder paisios said that we should be able to make a mistake: to do something that is contrary to the rules, but right according to the law of love. We know the episode from the life of St. Spyridon, when it came to the guest lent, the Prelate Spiridon was no cooked food, and he demanded to be pulled from the cellars of lard. And he, along with this the visitor was eating it.

It’s very difficult. I understand that the more important a person to make normal, and on the other hand, just think: if I don’t drive their guests into the sin of breach of the post?

— This question I cannot give any formal answer, because that would be hypocrisy. If we’re trying to their relationships with people and God to enter into any scheme, there is hypocrisy because we can’t see behind these schemes themselves and God, and the other person. It is necessary to fast, but fasting is, first and foremost, your personal sacrifice to God. What can we bring to God? A little prayer words, a rejection of his will. Stomach out of habit asks milk and cheese, but we say that for God’s sake we barely try your habits change.

If we really want something heavenly, that desire would force us to renounce any pleasures. There is a simple story, it is also applicable in the everyday life of the laity. One monk often felt a special sweetness in prayer, but at some point she abruptly disappeared. He began to examine what, in fact, was the reason — maybe he is someone the word said sharp or his rule of prayer left? Itself could not understand and went to ask.

He said: “Remember how you spent those days, when you had that special grace”. He says: “Nothing special. Well, tea drinking, well, lots of sugar”. And, realizing that it is because of extra sugars it has lost the heavenly sweetness, he began bitterly to lament.

The same thing happens to us when we, forgetting his aspiration to heaven, want to get a little bit more comfort in the earth. We try something collect in his spiritual life, but can lose it overnight, just through inattention. In fact, almost all patrikova history — about attention and inattention.

— What basic ideas are in the Patericon? What to pay attention?

— It’s hard to isolate some specific aspects of the lives of the fathers, because when immersed in these stories, you in a sense, becomes comfortable. These are great elders! I remember a story about St. Anthony the Great, to which came many people, asked a lot of questions. And come one, who quietly sat in the corner and never no questions asked. Somehow St. Anthony calls the brother and asks: “Brother, you is not the first time you come, do you have no questions? Why don’t you ask?” To that the monk replied: “father, I have enough to look at you.”

I have a feeling a certain kinship with these elders who have lived more recently, in the harsh mount Athos. They often did not possess any special education, and sometimes their lives to monasticism not characterized by a particular piety. They are simple and clear not so much through words as through a sense of their close presence.

The experience of reading the stories about other people enriches your personal experience. Somewhere you’ll be able to do the right thing, based on this experience, the overall feeling that you feel, it is a quiet breath of wind. For a monk this is especially important.

Monk — a man who chose a solitary path, but the monks going to the monastery, and each moving its own way, feels the support of his brother, who is in the next cell. Can brother nothing to say, for this brotherly love and support, words are often superfluous. The fact that you are moving in one direction, gives you both triple strength and helps not to go astray. One just a little bit, the other supported him.

It is, in fact, there is a General feeling of the Church. There are devotees who are significantly more severe and complex situations remained true to their Christian conscience, nothing really about themselves without thinking, did what we need to do as God wants them to do. Hence, in my situation, which is a thousand times easier, can act according to conscience. It is possible that I will get condemnation from others, from the authorities, but I gotta make things right make me feel.

Elder paisios loved to tell stories about his military service. Somehow he dug himself a trench, bullets are flying, and then creep up the other soldier says: “Let me in the foxhole”. Let, barely fit. Creep up the third: “let me.” Allowed, but elder paisios actually got out of his trench, was in great danger. But he reasoned: I can kill, but better kill me now bullet than life then will kill the conscience. Returning to the theme of obedience, you can do things on your own, as you like, and you can do as you said the old man. When you act according to your will, make a step not forward but backward, deprived of the experience you could get. You came and trusted the old man, what you don’t do as he says?

The fathers say about the special sacrament of the eldership, about the particular mysterious action of the Holy spirit, which unites the novice with his elder. The elder is given a special love for novice novice — a special trust to the elder. May experience some painful struggles in my head, some outburst of indignation on their own elders, but the wise old man and through that will hold your novice, he passed through such a furnace of temptation. The question is not how to formally do what you said. You should feel like your breathing, the elder, his heart beat, what you really want. I don’t know if the same close contact of love between flock and shepherd in the world.

God does not want us to be robots, and the elder doesn’t want you to be a robot.

That is, suppose there is a child who wants to learn to draw. Adult gives him the pencil and my hand takes his hand with a pencil, and they start to draw together. If the child begins to resist, get a Doodle.

Best of all, when the child himself feels, now where will the hand of the teacher, and even if the teacher would weaken the fortress of his hand, it is still a baby, already learning, will continue the line the way it’s supposed to go. Elder maybe you have something to say, can not say anything, can you, I guess, maybe, if you’re to some extent already embarked on the path of obedience, to give you some ridiculous puzzles that you will seem impossible.

The gospel 16+

How to talk to children about the Passion of Christ, so that, on the one hand, not too hard to hit, but on the other hand, not to downplay?

— On the gospel in accordance with current law should probably be vulture 16+, because there is a detailed description of violent death. Fortunately, I have never seen this icon in the Holy Scriptures. And his children hear and perceive. It is clear that the child does not have to attempt to reproduce the verbal Mel Gibson’s movie. Unnecessarily and Catholic attention to the physical suffering of the Savior.

The Church wisely gives those moments in the songs. In a poetic presentation much it becomes an outstanding figure.

We do during Holy week view is not gibsonesque. Beautiful verses, “this day hangs on a tree” is such a view, when the edge-to-edge cloud-land Povivaye tastes the vinegar, being crucified on the Cross, and those opposite each other to balance.

The stanza ends with the words: “o thou who wast in Thy Worship, o Christ, show us Thy glorious Resurrection.” We both stare and in eternal existence, in time and in the coming Kingdom, we are not severing the earth from the Sky, the Cross from the Resurrection, remaining in the twenty-first century, we find ourselves on Calvary, trying themselves in some degree to capacility to the robber, crucified with Christ. We empathize with the myrrh-bearers and the apostles, the centurion, who said that verily This is the Son of God.

This immersion in the Holy week takes place within us, if we went the whole post, putting aside all earthly care. And when we are there, this is not some sudden and tearing of your life. It’s not what you’re going through the sunlit Boulevard, and then on the bench you see a body. This situation will be trauma for the rest of his life.

And here you are with love and follow the Lord, and this is stated in the liturgical chants. The Lord shows about the resurrection, assuring us through the resurrection of Lazarus, and takes us through Holy week, enriching new experience of crucifixion with Christ. We are to some extent Simon Kiryakin can associate, though bare your cross to bear, not of the Lord.

Many other things that technically do not belong to the category 16+, most of them could be attributed than Good. If the child’s mother died, and he was not yet sixteen, this does not mean that he does not have to report the death of my mother. Must be able to find the words. The Church was able to find the words to their children to explain.

We have a way to the heart is through the stomach

— Father Peter (meshaninov) recently noted that we have post very much gastronomically-oriented, and have very small internal reserve of sobriety and attention. When you have all the attention focused on the fact that a single gram of sausage in your diet is not horrible, the rest of it has remained much smaller. Furthermore, the prescribed Orthodox alike, on a schedule, not to eat, to wear, to grieve, to be compassionate Christ, then rejoice in Easter. All, without exception, in a certain calendar period of seven weeks minus a Groom, and then with the same commitment to a specific calendar date returns. What is reality or some kind of aesthetic act, due to the history of culture?

— We have a way to the heart is through the stomach. Unlike the fallen angels, we have the opportunity to influence your soul through your body. A change in diet and the bows (which lent a lot), despite not issuing us the hustle and bustle, still make us something to think about. Even if we think mainly about gastronomy, still we like hanging this huge poster in the kitchen: we fast because we want to celebrate the Passion and Easter.

This experience is verified by the Church. It gives its effect: and so moving services of Holy the more touching for someone who has prepared for it by fasting. Imagine this: you come well-fed, happy, cheerful state of mind, and then you talk about someone’s suffering and agony. You have to sympathize with, but as if from the height of his fortune. The post makes the heart more capable of compassion.

Much more difficult of ascetic feat is called “Bright week”. There is the ascetic principle, which, again, in the Paterik says that grace is harder to keep than to get. Need great humility to wisely, gently and with the same purchased lent to get out of it and continue on your way.

Hype, which happens during Bright week, not close to me. The Charter requires the Church during Bright week to stay in the temple, enjoying the Divine Mysteries. If the Easter colouring too bodily, emotional, it doesn’t make it to ascension. Paschal Canon at this natively of bright red becomes Burgundy, almost black. There is no need to make such a firework of feelings of Easter. Yes, of course, the joy of each other obamam, but the challenge is to continue the joy of Easter to wear. A lot of work on Bright week, as often to go to Church, and Passionate, but if you cope with this task, to become more the man of Easter.

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